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OUR LADY OF MOUNT CARMEL STUDENTS ARE 

ACTIVE CHRISTIANS, SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE, KNOWLEDGE SEEKERS 
 
From the Principal's Desk                  

Prayer for Stillness
 
Gracious God, I ask you to plant a seed of stillness in my soul. 
Everything in my life moves ever more quickly,
and I am continually expected to fit more things  
into time that is already brimful with activity.
Even when I have moments that require nothing of me,
my mind races and I seem unable to locate a switch to turn it off. 
Give me, each day, the desire and capacity  
to breathe in the wonder of air,  
to envision a sill lake on a windless dawn,  
to drop deep into the well of my own being  
and find there the peace of your presence.   
I ask this for the sake of your love. 
Amen

December 6, 2017
 
Dear Families,
 
Tomorrow marks two weeks since Thanksgiving and at school the days since have been busy ones for the students and teachers. Keeping the season of Advent present in the children's lives, preparing for the arrival of the Christ Child and helping children see the gifts they have as they await the arrival of Santa Claus are all  beautifully interwoven into the fabric of life at school.
 
On Tuesday, December 19th, at 7:00 p.m.,  grades 3, 5 & 6 will present "The Twelve Days of Christmas". Join us as the students count down the twelve days  from Christmas to the Epiphany, combining the delightful images of the popular carol with symbols for the hidden religious meaning of each day.
 
On Christmas Day we celebrate the birth of Jesus.  This day begins a two-week period in the Liturgical year known as the Christmas season which celebrates Jesus' birth, his revelation to the world. We celebrate on December 25th because the winter solstice - the longest night of the year - has passed and we welcome the growing amount of daylight each day forth. For Christians, this is a sign of Jesus bringing the new light of salvation into the world. The season continues with the Epiphany, the 12th day of Christmas, January 6th, celebrated this year on January 7th as the Solemnity of the Epiphany of the Lord - the coming of the three Kings bringing gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh from whose example we give gifts. The season culminates with the Baptism of our Lord on January 8th. Jesus Is the Light of the World and during the Christmas season we are reminded that we, too, are to bring the light of Christ to those we meet.
 
This time in the liturgical year reminds us of the "Generosity of Spirit: During the Christmas season we celebrate God's generous gift to us, the Incarnation - God becoming man in Jesus. No greater gift has ever been given; no greater display of a generous spirit is possible. God gives this gift to us freely, no strings attached, and with no expectation of repayment. It is pure gift. That's why gift giving is such a big part of the Christmas season: we are encouraged to develop this same generosity of spirit, giving to others freely because we want to give, and not because the gift is earned or expected." *
 
As we continue our Advent journey, let us be mindful of how important it is for us to prepare ourselves spiritually for the coming of the Christ Child. On Friday, December 15th, at11:00 a.m., the children in grades 3 - 8 will participate in a Reconciliation Prayer Service, which will be led by junior high students. Prayer, reconciliation and meditation can all bring us closer to truly receiving the gift of the Christ Child on Christmas Day. Please continue to bring your children to Mass weekly as you journey through Advent. We expect, as a Catholic school community, that all families are attending Mass regularly.
 
Advent Blessings,
 
Teresa Anthony
Principal
 
* from Daniel S. Mulhall, writer for RCL Benziger